Bloomsbury Festival 2018 – Programme announced

Monday, 15th October 2018

Bloomsbury Festival 2018 17 – 21 OCTOBER 2018



Bloomsbury Festival presents a trailblazing programme of science, literature,

performance, music, and discussion, shining a light on the radical imaginations,

institutions and 11,000 residents of contemporary Bloomsbury.

Inspired by the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, the theme of the

2018 festival is Activists and Architects of Change. With Bloomsbury’s rich history

of activism, and the pioneering developments of its world-leading institutions, artists

and scientists, the Festival will present a unique creative programme showcasing

Bloomsbury to the world.

Taking place everywhere, including major institutions like The British Museum and

University College London (UCL), small and quirky spaces like The Horse

Hospital, in Bloomsbury’s historic garden squares, and on its famous streets, over

140 events will pop-up across this lively cultural quarter. Most events are FREE.

Highlights of the 2018 festival include

ROLL UP STORE STREET – Friday 19 October, from 6pm, FREE

For one night only, Bloomsbury Festival celebrate #Circus250 bringing thrilling circus

artists and inspiring young performers together with Bloomsbury’s musicians,

performers and artists for a spectacular street party. Enjoy the London premiere

(outdoor version) of circus company, Levantes humorous show THE BAND, marvel

at feats ‘not to try at home’ and have a go at synchronised hula-hooping, juggling

and more…

Produced by Bloomsbury Festival, in association with National Centre for Circus Arts


Each of the Festival’s weekend hubs will focus on a particular aspect of the 2018

theme – Activists and Architects of Change.

• Activism! – UCL, Saturday 20 October, FREE – Come and change the world with

University College London (UCL).

Find your inner radical through drop in workshops, exciting performances and music and join in discussions or get competitive with our activist card games – recommended for ages 12+

Sunday Funday- Brunswick Square, Sunday 21 October, FREE – Bloomsbury

Festival pops up in Brunswick Square for a day of play, performance, crafts, games and fun for families – recommended for ages 5+

Rights of Woman – Conway Hall, Sunday 21 October FREE – Named after Bloomsbury resident Mary Wollstonecraft’s famous 1792 paper, Rights of Woman contains rousing talks, vital debates and thought-provoking exhibitions from some of the boldest and bravest voices around.

Full details of the weekend festival hubs can be found at


Past and present, Bloomsbury has more than its fair share of brave and brilliant

women role models and the Festival shines a light on their stories;

Senate Women – throughout the festival, FREE

10 inspiring women each working in Senate House, tell their startling stories. This sonic installation of world-leaders and everyday activists celebrates how we can all be architects of change.

Daylighting – Wellcome Collection, Wednesday 17 October – Sunday 21 October, various times, FREE

Join artists to build Daylight, a collaborative artwork in the form of a newspaper that explores the presence of women through their art and thinking

• Suffragette Scavenger Hunt – Saturday 20th October, 11am-3.30pm and Sunday 21st October, 11am-2.30pm, FREE

Search the streets to discover hidden stories about the radical women of Bloomsbury’s past. Follow the trail of clues to discover a secret suffragette tea party!

A Necessary Woman – Bloomsbury Studio Theatre, Saturday 20th October, 7.30pm, £12

Census Night, 1911. Suffragette Emily Davison hides in a cupboard beneath Parliament, planning a daring act in the commons, but will she achieve her ambition? Written and performed by Deborah Clair and Philippa Urquhart.
Directed by Dominique Gerrad.

Bloomsbury Festival supports the development of bright new talent coming out of world-famous local universities, RADA and Central St Martins amongst others.

Lunchtime concert series – The Music Room, Wednesday 17 October – Saturday 20 October, 1.10pm
Featuring pianists Ljubica Stojanovic and Bradley Wood, viola player Katherine Clarke and a concert focussing on Women Composers.

Activists and Architects of Change Art Commission – St Giles London – throughout the Festival
Shortlisted entries to the competition for this year’s Festival lead image alongside works by the winning designer, Virginia Ma.

Bloomsbury Festival and The Bedford Estates Commission, supported by Boodle Hatfield LLP.

• Bold new theatre and dance – Bloomsbury Theatre – throughout the festival including Hop from PPS Ensemble, Tiger Under the Skin from Tom Kelsey, Nocturne from The Vertical, Unlovable from Carly Jurman and Glad to be Gay from Oliver Gaynor.


Home to The Bartlett School of Architecture, the Architectural Association, New London Architecture and many world-leading firms, Bloomsbury also has some of the most diverse and celebrated architecture in the capital. Through workshops, talks and walks the Festival is a great opportunity to explore behind the scenes of some amazing buildings and how the built environment impacts on our lives.

The Bartlett and STEaPP Late – The Bartlett, Saturday 20th October, 6pm – 10pm; FREE Following on from the UCL daytime Activism! Hub, its global faculty for the built environment and The City Leadership Laboratory host workshops, urban tours, performances and discussion about how cities shape us. Plus drinks at the bar, music and film screenings.

• New London Architecture talks and workshops – The Building Centre, Wednesday 17 – Saturday 20 October, FREE
New London Architecture present activities for all the family including a talk on London’s newest architecture, the chance to explore the huge 12.5m New London model and a family workshop where you get a chance to build your ideal home.

• Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture – Wellcome Collection – throughout the festival

How does our built environment affect us? This major exhibition examines the positive and negative influence buildings have on our health and wellbeing.

• Architectural Association: Digital Prototyping Lab Open House – Saturday 20 October, 11am-1pm
An open morning at the Architectural Associations’ centre for 3D fabrication, demonstrating the latest technologies available.

• Behind the Façade – Tours of The Principal London – Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October
Exclusive tours of Bloomsbury’s famous landmark hotel, built in 1898 and reopened this year after a dazzling refurbishment.


A grand finale concert in The Principal London’s newly refurbished ballroom with a complimentary glass of Bloomsbury sparkling wine for all. Never previously seen outside Goodenough College, Goodensemble Symphony Orchestra presents
a programme of music by Rossini and Beethoven plus a world premiere by Sylvia Lim to celebrate the finale of Bloomsbury Festival 2018.

For full festival listings visit

#Bloomsburyfest | @BloomsburyFest

Related Articles